MONT BLANC HIGHLIGHTS
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Reaching a peak everyday gave a great sense of achievement and certainly made the sore legs and bucket of sweat worth it.
What did you think of your group leader?
Mark was very laid back and approachable. It wouldn't be right not to mention Jayne and John who ran Chalet Chocolat. Despite all the work they had to do with turn-over time between groups only being a number of hours, they provided varied three course meals and gave the chalet a very homely atmosphere. They were very friendly and willing to help in every way (including an impromptu pick-up from town for some delayed members of the group).
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Yes, you really do need the waterproofs. The weather forecast had suggested it would be sunny all week, however it did rain on one day (the whole day) and I was quite glad to have my hat and gloves on that day as well as my waterproof jacket and trousers. On the free day, go up with the cable car to Aiguille du Midi, then take a return trip to the Italian station and back. You'll get wonderful views of Mont Blanc, but more entertaining was seeing all the people out there in their snow gear trekking along. Then take your lunch at Aiguille du Midi station, the canteen isn't very expensive. Then take the cable car back to the halfway point (Plan de l'Aiguille) between and Chamonix. Walk to le Montenvers, then take the train down to Chamonix. This was one of my favourite days. The walking was a little harder than I had expected. I think I read somewhere that a general level of fitness is required and if one was used to weekend walking then this is fine. Although we all made it, it's worth being aware that the ascents are quite steep and at times feel a little unrelenting. There were plenty of breaks, however some practice with walking up mountains before hand might be advantageous.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
This trip is ideal for anyone who would like an introduction to the Mont Blanc area and still have the feeling of having a home in Chamonix for the duration. There's plenty of walking, but this means that you have plenty of opportunities to be proud of yourself! Jayne & John, that chorizo chilli on the second last night was amazing and I'm going to attempt to make my own tonight! (While watching the cricket, of course, with my recently acquired cricket knowledge)